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Last week Cardinal Path teamed up with the American Marketing Association to deliver a webinar on digital’s hottest topic: Programmatic Media Buying. Tony Grotticelli, Director of Digital Content and Analysis for Universal Music Nashville, presented his own experiences with programmatic along with our Associate Director of Digital Marketing, Alan Amerault. The audience of 300+ was very engaged, judging by the great questions they asked Alan and Tony throughout the webinar. We ran out of time before we could answer them all, so we’re tackling them below along with added thoughts to a few questions that Tony and Alan did answer.

Programmatic Media Webinar
Click to view the Programmatic Media webinar on-demand

You can view a recording of the Programmatic Media Buying webinar on our website. The webinar covered:

  • what is programmatic and why it matters to marketers
  • why programmatic is shifting the paradigm of agency/client relationships
  • the benefits of automated digital ad buying
  • practical steps to move towards programmatic


Q: How easy it is for me to tackle this myself as a self-starter?

A: Many of the larger ad serving platforms (DoubleClick, Mediamath) have self-serve options, OR a network of re-sellers that will allow you to get set-up without meeting hefty ad serving minimums.  They’ll also take you through platform training and work hard to bring you up to speed.

Q: Is programmatic buying cheaper?

A: The cost savings really comes down to driving a more efficient ad impression rather than simply ‘bulk-buying’ inventory that doesn’t necessarily relate to your audience. You *may* end up spending even MORE on programmatic campaigns if they’re driving strong results. Still, many advertisers are using programmatic display as a supplementary, more fine-tuned display channel.
Q: If the goal of the ad is awareness, where would you typically set conversion pixels?

A: Awareness campaigns aren’t necessarily driving a conversion event (like a product sale), but a conversion ‘event’ will still be quite important. Perhaps the goal is reaching a specific information page, filling out a lead-form, downloading a company or service white-paper, or even engagement goals that involve time-on-site, or particular site-sections viewed.
Q: Are fraudulent clicks just as prevalent in programmatic?

Unfortunately yes. Remember that programmatic is just referring to the automation of the buying process. Fraudulent clicks can still occur.

Robot ad click fraud

Q: Should programmatic buying be used instead of or in addition to display advertising?

A: We tend to try multiple channels and multiple sources of acquisition. Programmatic campaigns could be used to supplement what you’re already doing, and certainly should be tested for performance before reallocating budgets.
Q: What is an effective CTR for programmatic buys, IAB standard has shown 0.08%

A: Though industry-specific and will depend upon other factors like messaging, creative, and targeting-specificity, that’s a pretty great benchmark.
Q: In order to participate in programmatic buying, is it necessary to utilize a Data Management Platform (DMP) in addition to a Demand Side Platform (DSP) or can an advertiser get started buying programmatically without the use of a DMP?

A: Certainly. A DMP is really helpful when it comes to actively mining your audience base. Many DMPs in market today utilize this data collection and aggregation and THEN leverage that information to buy directly against DSPs (oftentimes their own!)

What is a Demand Side Platform (DSP?)

Q: Can you say more about what is a large enough buy to test and scale?

A: We have launched testing buys as low as $2,500-5,000. More budget essentially allows for a larger set of data and feedback.
Q: What is your thought on the use of dynamic bannering vs static bannering? By dynamic I mean ‘moving’ banners, in this case. (Not dynamic filling banners)

A: We always test. Dynamic banners can drive higher engagement and interest, which is certainly a great thing when we’re trying to attract attention.
Q: What about the advantages/disadvantages of first vs third party cookie tracking. How is the industry and programmatic buying working around these issues?

A: Great question and something we’ve talked about in the recent past. This is continuing to evolve and one of the reasons 1st party ad serving platforms and even DMPs are gaining traction as a means of actioning 1st-party data.
Q: Is there a good resource for us to find potential partners to help us?

Check us out! You can read about how Cardinal Path can help you get the right message, to the right people, at the right time with Programmatic Buying, then contact us!